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NORMAL COURSE IN READING
EMMA J. TODD,
TRAINING TEACHER IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF AURORA, ILL.,
SILVER, BURDETT & CO., PUBLISHERS,
NORMAL COURSE IN READING.
PRIMER: Preliminary Work in Reading;
Geographical, Historical, Patriotic, and Miscellaneous;
numbers, 29 X 38 inches, Illustrated.
COPYRIGHT, 1890, 1891, by Silver, BURDETT & Co.
Typography: J. S. Cushing & Co.
Presswork: Berwick & Smith.
Illustrations : H. A. Dennison.
PROBABLY no text-books in our schools represent, on the whole, more effort and enterprise on the part of both publisher and author than the school reading-books. This branch has constantly received the contributions of our most successful schoolbook makers a fact which in itself abundantly attests the importance which attaches to the study in the public mind.
That there yet remain possibilities for improvement in this direction cannot be doubted by those familiar with the progress recently made in the methods of teaching reading employed by our best educators. This progress has revealed and emphasized the need of improvements not hitherto attempted in the readingbooks offered for school use, both in the plan of presentation and in the subject-matter presented.
It is confidently believed that a careful examination of the plan and subject-matter of the Normal COURSE IN READING will at once reveal its raison d'être, and that a practical use of these books in the school-room (which is, after all, the supreme test of excellence) will demonstrate their superiority to those hitherto published for the same work.
A more definite and detailed exposition of the plan, scope, and subject matter of each book in the series will be found in the “Suggestions to Teachers.”
The publishers confidently commend the Series to all progressive educators, and anticipate for it large favor at the hands of those who appreciate the best school-room work.
SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS.
PRIMARILY, education seeks the formation of right habits, physical, mental, and moral.
The attainment of the highest possibilities of the individual should be the result of education.
The mind is self-active, being conscious of its activity. Its nature is such that it can unfold only by its own activity.
He who induces self-activity, systematized and to a purpose, is the true educator.
It goes without saying that the kind of knowledge gained is determined by the subjects presented, but it must be remembered also that the kind of activity excited depends on the subjects presented, as well as on the method of presentation.
The mind is stimulated to action by addressing the senses. There can be no true concept without a percept.
The perceptive faculties inust be stimulated to action in Third Reader lessons as well as in First Steps in Reading.
Food-furnishing subjects must be presented. Food which the mind can assimilate and upon which it can and will grow must be selected.
Nature studies, rightly taught, train the mental powers as few other studies can do.
In the study of nature children find new beauty and wondrous fascination in roots, stems, and leaves, which have previously been to them roots, stems, and leaves and nothing more: the hitherto repulsive animal is sought, studied, and admired; the grass and the worm which have been thoughtlessly trodden upon give inspiration to higher and more useful lives.
SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS.
The child trained to use his
and ears finds
“Tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
The child must himself study the specimens, or perform the experiments. To show this or to tell the other will uot train the child. He should handle the specimens; if necessary, tear them to pieces, observe their forms, and discover their parts and qualities.
Comparison is one of the most educative of mental activities. The child discovers likenesses and differences for himself. His knowledge increases as his power to observe these distinctions increases.
Specimens or objects must be studied in groups, the parts of which give opportunity for comparing and concluding.
Only by a comparison of things, or of concepts immediately derived from things, can the judgment be trained properly.
Observation and judgment are cultivated simultaneously. Observation is not trained except by exercise of judgment.
Only by comparison and conclusion is observation cultivated.
The mere seeing of specimens is not enough. The specimens must be compared, likenesses and differences must be discovered. After this has been done the learner must decide, conclude, then he must verify. In this way only is cultivation secured.
The object of this nature work is not to store the mind with facts, but to develop and to strengthen it.
The child must early learn to help himself; he must be so trained that he will have confidence in his own ability to acquire knowledge.
In teaching a child to read Third Reader text the first requisite to success is to create in him an interest in the matter he is to read.
The pupil must be prepared for the book text by work which will create a desire to know what the lesson in the book has in store for him.